Tree Care Services of Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR

Why Should I Compost?

By AK Timber in Planting

One of the most common questions you hear from people when you work on their yards is whether or not composting is a good idea. For the most part, composting is a great idea in many yards because it has so many benefits. Still, it is something that you have to do in order to get the benefits from it – and it is something you have to do right to really love it. Once you’ve composted for a while, you will start to wonder why you have lived your life like you have been – it will truly change the way you look at everything from gardening to taking out your garbage.

Still not sold on composting in your backyard? Here are a few more reasons to consider:

5. Makes Your Landscaping Look Better

  • Easy to use
  • Always at your disposal
  • Free

If you are the type of person who really likes to landscape, then composted soil with be your best friend. The first reason is that it is extremely easy to work with at almost all times of the year. It is a lighter, fluffier soil so that it will do what you want it to do and then work with the rest of your yard. In fact, composted soil is healthier because it has more air to hold nutrients and water, according to Virginia Tech.

Since it is lighter, it is also an easier soil to move around your yard. You will be able to take some of this rich, beautiful soil and completely line your landscaping to make defined lines with very little work. If you can’t lift weights that you used to or you find yourself not loving your gardenbecause of dingy soil, consider composting.

4. Neutralizes soil

  • Makes it better to grow plants
  • Reduces acid or alkaline, whichever you need
  • Can even sell soil

Why is neutralized soil important? Well, if your soil has too much acid, you will have trouble growing plants, trees, and shrubs of all sizes and shapes. If your soil has too much alkaline, you will have the same problem.

According to Soil Quality, “Plant growth and most soil processes, including nutrient availability and microbial activity, are favoured by a soil pH range of 5.5 – 8. Acid soil, particularly in the subsurface, will also restrict root access to water and nutrients.” If you were to get your soil tested right now, there is a good chance that it will fall in that range, but that it will be towards one of the extremes.

People who grow food or plants for a living are constantly testing their soils so that they can stay where they want to stay.

3. Reduces landfill waste

  • Better for environment
  • Keeps home values up
  • EPA suggested

Why is composting in your yard different from what compostable food does in in a landfill? CBS explains: “Food that goes out with the trash is usually trapped in plastic bags and, often, also in packaging or take-out containers that don’t let light or air in to finish the natural breakdown. What would normally be organic matter that breaks down quickly becomes artificially preserved in these dark catacombs of containers, sometimes for decades.

According to a recent study, if everyone in the United State cut down on throwing foot and other compostable goods away, there would be one-fourth less garbage in landfills. In other developed nations, that number is even higher.

2. Composting improves overall air quality

  • Eliminates need to burn
  • Reduces methane in air
  • Doesn’t produce deadly chemicals

Composting is a great way to improve the air quality in your yard and in your neighborhood if you get many of your neighbors to do it as well. One of the reasons it does this is because it reduces the need to burn any of your yard waste. It also reduces the amount of methane that goes into the air, which is bad because it warms up the planet.

According to CalRecycle, “Composting emissions do contain small amounts of stronger ozone-forming agents, such as terpenes and aldehydes. The overall ozone formation potential of composting emissions is quite low, about one-third as potent as a typical urban VOC mix.” This means that you do want to think about composting larger quantities and if there is a better way to do it, but it is still a great idea to do it.

1. Stops Erosion

  • Great for the rainy seasons
  • Keeps nutrients in your yard
  • Great for around water bodies

If you have a lot of soil erosion around your home and garden, you might feel like there is nothing that you can do it about it – and you are wrong. Using composted soil will help to slow down erosion, especially erosion due to water. When soils erode, it is a big deal – everything can become polluted, especially if you use pesticides. But when you use composted soil, which absorbs more water, you see much less erosion.

According to the University of Georgia, “the United States loses more than 2 billion tons of topsoil each year to erosion. Erosion removes fertile soil rich in nutrients and organic matter, which reduces the ability of plants to establish, grow and remain healthy in the soil.” This is a huge deal and something that we need to worry about – even in Vancouver because the same goes for us.

If you are in need of a go-to tree service contractor in the Vancouver area, contact AK Timber today. We are a highly trained team of skilled professionals that take tree services, including eliminating branches and picking up debris that you can then use in your compost pile. Your trees and your safety and security mean a lot to us, so we want to do whatever we can to make you feel secure while helping you live the lifestyle that you want.

Give us a call today at (360) 635-1076, and we can come to your residence to complete any maintenance needed and talk to you about composting. We can tell you about the trees that you can compost and the ones that you might not want to compost. Even better, we can tell you where to compost and where not to compost.

Header photo courtesy of Tony Buser on Flickr!